Winter Vacations And Prime Aurora Viewing
The northern lights are visible August 20 through April 20. The best time for a winter aurora vacation is February and March. Its still plenty dark at night, but the days are longer and snow conditions are best for dog sledding, snowmobiling, skiing and other winter activities. The best area to view is near Fairbanks. Here are our recommended northern lights viewing tours.
Plan Your Alaskan Cruise With Windstar
Now that you know the best time to take an Alaskan cruise, its time to make it happen! Why not turn your dreams into reality with us at Windstar Cruises? Connect with fellow travelers and the crew as you sail the Alaskan waters on our intimate cruises. Our smaller ships give us access to ports the other ships cant reach, meaning you get a unique experience and opportunities you couldnt anywhere else.
Take a look at the Alaskan cruises we offer to see what will take you on the adventure of a lifetime. Well take you on guided fishing trips, through scenic forests and close to legendary fjords and glaciers for the Alaskan trip of a lifetime. Plan your voyage today by calling us at 800-258-7245 or requesting a call. We cant wait to have you aboard a Windstar Cruise!
Featured May Cruises To Alaska
Get to Alaska right when the cruise season begins on an Alaska Northbound Glacier Cruise that departs in May from Vancouver, British Columbia. Youll see something new every single day of your cruise in May, from sailing the Inside Passage to visiting Ketchikan, Icy Strait Point, Juneau, Hubbard Glacier, and Skagway before ending your cruise in Seward, Alaska, where you might even be able to see some snow on the ground.
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Canada/new England: September And October
Canada and New England sailings depart from May through October. You’ve got a better chance for warm weather if you travel from late June through early September. However, if you prefer more crisp weather or you’re interested in fall foliage viewing, you’ll need to go from late September to mid-October.
May and late-October sailings will offer the lowest rates, but don’t expect to be using the onboard swimming pool much. Meanwhile, the summer months are ideal for exploring some of Canada’s most intriguing cities in milder temperatures .
Best Time Of Year To Take An Alaskan Cruise
If you are planning a cruise to Alaska, you should consider these factors when determining the Best Time of Year to Take an Alaskan cruise.
Alaska is one of the top cruise destinations. For many, visiting Alaska is on their bucket list. While Alaska might not be what you first picture when you think of a cruise, a cruise is actually the easiest way to visit this region. Unlike Caribbean cruises though, Alaska is a seasonal cruise port. So, WHEN you visit the area is important. There are actually several factors to consider when determining the Best Time of Year to Take an Alaskan cruise. The answer to this question is not as clear cut as you might think.
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Various Seasons For Various Cruises
As you may have guessed, are the most popular months because they are the warmest, with highs ranging from the 60s to 70s, if youre lucky. However, July and August also typically bring quite a lot of rain. But this isnt necessarily the worst news, as they are also the best months for spotting wildlife and are the peak fishing months.
The shoulder season months of May and September will offer cheaper rates and fewer crowds but also come with more unpredictable weather. Shore excursions will have a better chance of getting canceled, and snow may even be on the ground.
September, however, is the best chance cruise-takers will get for a glimpse of the Northern Lights, in addition to end-of-season shopping deals. But since the weather can be rougher, you can expect choppy water. So, if you get seasick, forget it!
Featured September Cruises To Alaska
Increase your chances of seeing fall foliage on an Alaska Southbound Glacier Cruise itinerary that sails from Seward, Alaska down to British Columbia. The northern ports youll visit along the way may already be showing signs of autumn, and by beginning in Alaska, you can enjoy a couple of days before your embarks to explore on land when the first signs of the impending Alaskan winter are just starting to show.
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When Is The Best Time To Cruise
There is no one-size-fits-all answer for when to sail: It depends on your own personal priorities.;Whether youre looking to avoid the rough seas or score a bargain deal, theres a time of year thats best for you. If youre looking for low prices, shoulder season the time between peak and low season is a great option, but it may come with trade-offs like rainy weather or fewer wildlife sightings. Check out our breakdown of the best time to cruise;based on destination, weather, and price:
When To Cruise The Alaska Islands
Alaskas long and winding coastline has over 2,600 named islands with diverse landscapes and attractions for a variety of interests. An Alaska Islands cruise will take you to explore a number of these islands, where you can immerse in wildlife spotting, photography, shore excursions and more.
Chicagof Island is a nature lovers paradise. With its plunging fjords, porpoises, whales and the largest population of bears per square meter in the world, its ideal for nature photography.
The Brothers Islands also offer some of the best Alaska Islands wildlife spotting, with more whales, porpoises, sea lions and numerous birds. Be sure to also visit Baranof Island to experience remote communities, hiking and bathing in blissful hot springs.
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Alaska Cruises In September
Treat yourself to a custom Alaska cruise this fall after the kids go back to school. September in Southeast Alaska is when autumn starts to sink in, and just like any other season in Alaska, there are countless reasons to plan a vacation around this time.
Peak tourist season is over by September, so Alaska will once again be quiet as everyone prepares for another long, white winter, including the wildlife.
Black and brown bears will be stuffing themselves in preparation for winter hibernation and migratory birds will be preparing for a long flight south, while other animals are ready to hang in there for the Alaskan winter.
Bald eagles;can be seen flying above or sitting in trees despite the season. Sea otters, sea lions, orcas and Dall porpoise aren’t picky about the weather either.
Alaska experiences some beautiful fall foliage in September, as well. The mountainsides turn beautiful shades of gold and yellow, and the mountains begin to collect snow on their peaks.
As the nights grow darker and longer, there is a very good chance to catch the awe inspiring Aurora Borealis, Alaska’s northern lights. Imagine cruising aboard the Sikumi and looking into the night sky to see dancing curtains and swirls of light.
The Best Months To Cruise Alaska And Why
An Insider Guide to Planning Your Alaskan Cruise
A visit to the Last Frontier is an experience every nature lover should have at least once during their lifetime. Alaskan cruises offer a unique combination of wilderness and luxury, making them an ideal way to see the state — and for much of Alaska, the only way. Alaska’s Inside Passage is a magical string of pristine emerald islands that can’t be accessed by road. You’ll glide through still waters teeming with aquatic life while Alaska’s cruise season starts in May and lasts through September. Although peak season is during the months of June and July, the months before and after peak season also have their benefits.
So what’s the best time to cruise Alaska? The answer isn’t going to be the same for everyone.Here’s what you can expect during different parts of the cruise season.
The Month of May
May is when cruise ships return to Alaskan after an absence of seven months. The weather in May is a little colder than in June and July, and the ships won’t be as full of passengers as they are during peak season, making May a good choice for those seeking a less crowded cruise experience. Whale watchers in particular are rewarded by deciding to cruise in May because this is when the pods of orcas are migrating and it’s easy to spot them jumping through the waves from the deck of a cruise ship.
Peak Season: June and July
Autumn in Alaska
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Exploring Land Is Unlimited
The best thing about cruising is you will have so many stops on land to explore the state and the places in detail. Though the cruising packages primary focus is to take you around the country and the state through the water, they will settle you down on land to explore.
You will be offered hotels or villas based on your package type for staying on the land. Thus, you need not worry about where to stay and how to manage the traveling without stress.;
Taking An Alaska Cruise In May
With 17 hours of daylight, youll have plenty of time to work with on deck or shore.; But you can leave the t-shirts and shorts at home, as the beginning of the Alaska cruise season, temperatures here are just starting to warm with an average high in the mid-50s.
Youll still need to pack layers, as the nights will be quite chilly, but you might luck out and not need your rain gear, as May is historically Alaskas driest month.
Cruise prices and excursions will also be lower in May, especially during the first week of the season. You can even find cruises for as low as $100 per day.
This early season is also a great time to view wildlife as the vegetation has not completely grown in yet, meaning it will be easier to spot animals between the trees.
Migratory birds should also have begun to arrive, and the fishing season will be just kicking off .
For those looking to hop on shore and take a hike, you still may encounter some snow on the ground, depending on where you are and at what elevation.
There are also numerous opportunities to walk on a glacier should you so choose. Just check to see what excursions are available in each port.
If youre pulling into port in Seward, keep an eye out for Alaskas resident orca whale pods, as May is the best time to spot these locals of Resurrection Bay. Its also your best chance to spot the elusive gray whale before they migrate north to colder waters.
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The Best Time To See Wildlife On An Alaska Cruise
You will see plenty of wildlife during your Alaska cruise throughout the cruise season. The best months to catch a glimpse of the amazing fauna that call Alaska home are the months of June and July.;
- Moose:;Moose give birth around June.
- Caribou: June is the best month to see herds of caribou
- Humpback Whales: ;June and July;is when the humpback whales migrate through Alaska’s;Inside Passage.
- Black bears: Spring is ideal because the new vegetation lures back in sheep, mountain goats and black bears. July is also good because that is when salmon runs start to get busy.
- King Salmon:;King salmon runs start in late May.
- Bird watching: June is when you have the best change to see unusual birds migrating.
Popular Alaska Cruise Routes
Canada Place in Vancouver is a popular embarkation port for Alaska cruises
Most Alaska cruises on larger ships embark in Seattle, Vancouver, or Anchorage .
Luxury and expedition ships sometimes take on passengers at other ports thanks to their unique itineraries.
Pro Tip: If you plan on cruising to or from Vancouver, you will need a valid U.S. passport.
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Advantages Of Visiting Alaska In August
- Warm weather, with temperatures between 45-65 degrees and 18 hours of daylight.
- Abundant fishing opportunities, as halibut, northern pike, rainbow trout, and salmon are all in season.
- Numerous cruise and land tour packages on offer, giving you access to the breathtaking fall foliage of the Last Frontier.
- As for wildlife, August is peak migration season for songbirds and youll see numerous caribou, bears, beavers, orca, and loons on your adventure.
When Is The Best Time To Visit Alaska
The best time to visit Alaska is between mid-June and mid-September. The warmer weather and long days make this a particularly pleasant time of year, with temperatures in the cool-but-comfortable range of 60-67°F.
Alaskas wildlife, including bears, sea otters, seals and whales, is visible throughout this period, with June and July the best months for sightings.
The weather in Alaska changes very quickly at any time of year. However, many excursions stop operating in early September, in anticipation of the winter weather. The winter months are best avoided, unless youre looking for winter sports or to see the northern lights in extreme conditions.
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What Is The Best Time To Cruise To Alaska
Finding the cheapest time for an Alaska cruise will depend on your vacation budget, how much time you can dedicate to the cruise and weather considerations. To help pick the best time of year to cruise, we have a comprehensive look at what you need to know about taking a cruise to Alaska.
The;Alaska cruise season spans the months of May through September. Nearly all of Royal Caribbean’s cruises are seven nights sailings, although there are land tours you can tack onto the cruise to expand the adventure.
When Is The Best Time To Visit Alaska To Avoid Crowds
Shoulder season is also the best time to go on an Alaska cruise if you prefer fewer crowds while exploring the historical and cultural aspects of Alaskan cities and towns.
Shore excursions are easier to book, so take full advantage of roomier whale-watching cruises and less crowded restaurants.
Schools are still in session in May and September, so fewer families are traveling. Also, many cruise passengers prefer to travel to Alaska in the warmer weather, so crowds on both sea and land tend to thin out.
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Alaska Cruise Weather In August
Like July, nights and early mornings can be very cold, so late nighters and early risers should be prepared to bundle up for icy temperatures. Plenty of layers are also essential in August, and travelers should be sure to pack waterproof jackets, shoes, and bags as August and September are among the rainiest months of the year.
Best Month To Cruise To Alaska
A message from Cruise Critic: During this unprecedented time throughout the world and across the cruise industry, it is important to note that article information might be impacted by cruise line hiatuses and port closures due to COVID-19. For the latest information, please visit our regularly updated article on what cruisers need to know about coronavirus.
The Alaska cruise season is five months long — from May to September — but not all Alaska cruises are created equal. From one week to the next, summer in the Last Frontier can see noticeable differences in weather, cruise pricing and what’s in season. Whether you’re looking to find some savings or spot bears, catch a king salmon or plenty of daylight, you’ll have to book accordingly.
To help you set the right expectations for your Alaska adventure and pick the best month to cruise, Cruise Critic breaks the Alaska cruise season down by month and compares nine elements to consider during a cruise there.
A few things to note:
Hours of daylight are rounded to the nearest hour and calculated by the average seen in the city of Anchorage; daylight hours in the port city of Seward are always slightly less. Temperatures are measured in degrees Fahrenheit and are based on Southcentral Alaska ports, which include Anchorage, Seward and Whittier; temperatures will vary in other areas of the vast state.
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You Will Get To Experience The Feel Of The Massive Glaciers Personally
Imagine Cruising into Glaciers in Preserve and Glacier Bay National Park, the best experience you will have for a World Heritage Site. You will get to see vast and massive glaciers like the famous and significant Margarine, Grand Pacific, Lamplugh, and Johns Hopkins piles up with enormous ice packs.;
This place is a showcasing factor of approximately 100,000 glaciers, which is different from that many are in inaccessible areas. If you are interested in visiting these glaciers, you will have to visit there, especially in some other travel way.;
If you visit Alaska through any Cruise, you will surely get a stop at one or two famous worth sightseeing glaciers. Some of the cruises take you deep inside Glacier Bay. And honestly, this is my personal experience taking a cruise to Alaska, as I could see the Glaciers so closely, which highlighted part of my entire trip to Alaska.;
When To Cruise Ketchikan
The salmon capital of the world, Ketchikan is not to be missed for the chance to take a fishing adventure cruise, dine on fresh fish, and learn more about the local people of this unique area.
With a fishing history dating back to the 1880s, this history-rich city is a fascinating destination for culture fans. Ketchikan has the largest collection of standing totem poles in the world and an abundance of salmon species for you to try.
There is of course plenty of Alaskan wildlife, plus outdoor pursuits on glacial and forest terrain perfect for working up a good appetite for dinner.
Cruise Ketchikan in April and you can delight in seeing hummingbirds return after their winter away. Whichever month you choose, bear in mind its the fourth wettest place in the world and pack accordingly.
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